Friday, September 23, 2005

Ode to sunsets

Sunset- Pronunciation Key (s n s t )n. The event or time of the daily disappearance of the sun below the western horizon.

For me a sunset means a lot of things; it maybe the end of a beautiful day… a creative way for the whole universe to give an encore after a great day of performance….or the time when me and my friends just lounge and bask in the semi-warm sands and slightly cool breeze of a beach somewhere. Sunsets have always been a part of my life, I don’t really have any idea why, but I’ve seen them in all the places I’ve went to. The idea of watching this great ball of fire in the sky hide away beyond the horizon is like realizing that even the gods take time to rest, to give a chance for other celestial beings to rule the world.

I love the feeling just sitting on the beach at around 5 pm, when the sun starts to swallow back its rays, and you just feel a hint of warmth invading your skin. Everything looks like caramel and gold. A vision so unbelievable and breathe taking. Complete with a little bit of alcohol in hand (I prefer a bottle of ice cold beer) stranded in front of a supposedly blue ocean (by then, with a hint of gold streaks) everything transformed…evolves into a chill out scene. Suddenly things start to slow down, time stops. The sky changes from blue to all the other colors you can imagine, and in the center of it all is the sun. A baby being tucked away in a great big blanket of colors.

The sunsets I’ve seen have all had their own character. Yes, it maybe just one sun, as you may say, but whenever I went on an adventure to some other new place, I found a new sunset to acquaint myself with. The first memorable sunset I’ve seen was back in my home town, Bacolod. It was no where near the beach. It was one 5 pm on top of a building along Lacson Street. My dad worked there and my best friend and I went on the roof top for the first time, to get away from the rest of the world. We were trying to hide out from everybody else, hoping we could find refuge in the serenity of a cement paved roof top, at 5:00 in the afternoon. Then we came to realize we were about to witness a beautiful event. The sky was clear, with little splashes of cotton candy clouds on the side. The sun was strong and warm but it did not hurt the skin. It was a sunset suited for an afternoon like it was, and a city like Bacolod. The sky was quiet and conservative; it was classic. Strong fire circle edged with soft yellow rays…a hint of orange and finished with pink and blue on the horizon, and a shade of deep yellow. All in all, it was a sunset ready to tell stories about our small province and its people.

Another unforgettable sunset I’ve seen is the ever popular sunset of Boracay island. Everyone who has been to Bora knows how charming the bora sunset is. Known as one of the most photographed sunsets in the nation, the Bora sunset is as picturesque as any sunset could be. Like a model making love to the camera, every angle is flawless. She exudes the character of a typical Filipina, shy, charming and exotic. Starts off as a bright yellow circle, and then gradually shows its passionate side as the night starts to swallow its color. You start to see all shades of deep yellow with a hint of black to finish up the masterpiece around the horizon. The rays of gold and caramel carpet the island. Everything seems to glide to the Caribbean melody of the Bora sunset. It’s not uncommon to be mesmerized by its charm as it slowly fades and the photo shoot is at its end.

The La Union sunset on the other hand is the total opposite of the Bora sunset. Like the waves of the majestic China Sea, the La Union sunset is as confident and regal. It conquers the sky like a god. The colors are radiant and clear, shades of orange, red and golden yellow mix in the skies. Imagine the scene; you hear the surf bang on the shores and rocks, while seeing surfers enjoy their last ride for the day, and in the back drop you have this golden ornament in the heavens. It’s not actually just an ornament; it seems to be what sums everything up; the main idea of the sentence; the point of the whole existence of the place; it is what makes La union what it is. Contrary to the passionate and sexual sunset of bora, the La union sunset is like a Filipino. He stands strong for what he believes in and he does not back down. He has heart and zeal; the La union sunset is something worth waiting for at the end of the day.

Last but not least, one of the most fascinating and most remarkable sunsets I’ve seen in this lifetime is the White beach, Puerto Galera sunset. In this quaint and serene stretch of semi white sanded beach, I found a bit of my so-called paradise. In the weekdays where people and tourists are a scarcity and the only friends you’d find in the beach are the locals; White beach is at its best. As the day starts to lazily work its way to rest, the horizon projects the best of its colors ever. The sun sets with incredible precision with the feel of the whole scene itself. Literally the sun hugs the island for a few minutes then starts to fade stretching colors of pink, purple and blue across the skies. Contrary to the usual yellow color of other sunsets, the only yellow part you’d see is the circle of the sun itself. Its mellow intensity is so calming that it’s just the right ending to a day of sun tan oil, fruit shakes and clear sea water.

My friends tell me that the sunsets vary, most likely, because of the place itself. But for me (well in my insanely colorful world of theories) I believe that the sunsets I see are unique individuals themselves. It’s like one schizophrenic person; someone who has more than one personality. In each and every form that the sunset slips into, she or he has a different world all together, that also, well most probably, reflects the place itself.

I can’t conclude this article by telling you which sunset is the best, or the most beautiful of all. I know it is cliché to say so, but, honestly speaking, all of the sunsets I’ve seen are magnificently unique with their very own beauty. I wouldn’t miss either of them in this life time. I was lucky to have found them. Well I have more 5 pm’s to come, and I have more sunsets to witness…..